FORUM Sexuality Education and Family Planning, 1-2009 - Media
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FORUM Sexuality Education and Family Planning

Media

Pornography on the internet, in computer games and in uncontrolled chatrooms forces one to think about the necessity of child protection, gives rise to moral concerns about violent content for example and concerns regarding the improper initiation of contacts via the web.

Susanne Eggert outlines the role that the modern media plays for boys and girls and what this media offers in terms of entertainment and infor - mation based on the results of the representative JIM Study.

In a study of students in Potsdam, questions were raised regarding how female and male students absorb sexuality in the media and the role that media images of eroticism and sexuality play today in socialisation. The study confirmed that adolescents are highly aware of what they can "expect from pictures and content, and what they cannot".

The third article based on an online survey of 16 to 19-year-olds, deals explicitly with pornography and the influence of pornography on the image that adolescents have of sexuality and relationships. The perhaps somewhat surprising findings were that the use of sexual media content is more the rule than the exception, that adolescents are aware of the arti - ficiality of the depictions and the fact that these barely have any influence on relationships.
The relevance of adolescent media protection and the tasks that the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons has, i.e. in the fields of violence, child and animal pornography, are the subjects of a further article in which Friedemann Schindler appeals on the protection of children and adolescents against sexual advances and pornography on the internet. The focal points here are also topics such as sexual abuse, increasingly younger victims of sexual abuse and sexual advances in chatrooms and communities. According to Schindler’s findings, younger children in particular are in need of support and guidance when surfing the internet.

Gunter Schmidt explicitly criticises the fact that media is pessimistic about culture and exaggerates issues and also criticises "professional" upset regarding the consumption of pornography as an alleged main - stream culture defining adolescence: in “Fantasies of Boys, Phantasms of Adults” he concisely outlines his report, in which he draws on influential studies carried out on the basis of this theme.

Reiner Wanielik looks at a range of considerations with regard to sex education work with pornography. He instructs educational specialists that in view of the curiosity and receptiveness that adolescents also bring to pornography as part of their development, the problems can only be confronted professionally by means of an active debate and self-acquired media competence.

Matthias Kortmann puts "Social Networks in Web 2.0" under the microscope: he queries what makes these forums so appealing to adoles - cents and the problems that social networks raise for media and sex education specialists.
In conclusion, further conceptional developments of the successful Loveline portal of the BZgA are introduced; this portal is visited by approximately 140,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16 every month.

From a professional perspective, sexuality on the internet appears to be a challenge for those working with children and adolescents; this may in part require actions to protect adolescents, but may also require a relaxed approach to the topic. When it comes to this adolescents are clearly well ahead of the "older generation".